Jaime Surenkamp - Determined and Kind

Jaime Surenkamp.jpg

What are your “and” words and why? Determined and Kind. I’m tenacious when I believe in something or someone. And I endeavor to be sure my words and actions cultivate and demonstrate kindness.

What you are known for saying / a quote from you. What does this quote mean to you, (or if it’s from someone else, why does it inspire you)? I’m actually a bit of a motivational quotes geek. I have them all over my office so picking one is hard. Here are a few that inspire/guide me:

“If you risk nothing, then you risk everything.” – Geena Davis  This quote challenges me and pushes me forward.

“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela This quote inspires me to keep working towards my goals.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama – Words to live by, always.

Which other Ladybadasses inspire you and why? Famous: P!nk – P!nk rocks – plain and simple. She speaks her mind, lives her values, stands up for others and operates with integrity. And… she owns the silks – total badass. Personal: My Mom. Where do I start? She’s got her Law Degree, MBA and a Masters Degree. She worked at NASA and was one of the few female managers there at that time. She was determined to be sure I got a good education and had opportunities. But most of all, she had the courage to follow her heart and be true to herself when she fell in love with another woman. She encapsulates strength, love and living your truth.

When did you first realize that you had some Ladybadassery in you? It’s probably only been in the last 10 years that I really tapped into my Ladybadassery. Somewhere along the way I finally stopped caring about what other people thought, and started forging my own path.

I took chances, leaving a successful career at OpenTable to go into non-profit, fighting for animal rights as the Director of Corporate Outreach for Mercy for Animals. I now serve on their Board of Directors.

Having some Ladybadassery means you also celebrate other Ladybadasses – which is why I’m so proud to be an Executive Producer on Saint Judy. Saint Judy is the story of Human Rights Attorney Judy Wood who is 100% a Ladybadass. She changed the laws of asylum in the U.S. saving thousands of women.

Being able to work on things that matter to me, to use my voice to speak for others or amplify their message – that is how I continue to tap into my Ladybadassery. And its only getting stronger, so watch out world! ☺

What keeps you motivated on days when you aren't quite feeling like a Ladybadass? Memories of my Grandma Cook. When my Ladybadass tank is running low, I think of my Grandma and how she always pressed forward, with a positive attitude and a strong sense of self. She motivates me to make the most of each moment and to live in a way that I know would make her proud. And my husband John. He keeps me light when I get too serious, calms me when I’m feeling overwhelmed and he genuinely likes making me happy. He’s a great partner in this crazy life.

What is your advice to other women who are trying to tap into their Ladybadassery? Remember – No one else can ever be you. So speak up for what you believe in. Take action to make the changes you want to see in yourself and the world. Follow your intuition – it will lead you down your unique path. Take risks. Be grateful. Be humble. Listen to others. Cultivate empathy. Travel. Hike. Dance. Do whatever brings you joy. Above all – be kind.

Jaime is an Executive Producer with Cannonball Productions. Her first feature film, Saint Judy is premiering in select cities March 1st. She is also on the board of directors for Mercy for Animals and serves as a Senior Advisor for The Good Food Institute. She lives in Boulder, CO.